Everyone from countries to political parties to individuals in organisations is now encouraged to think of themselves as a brand, in which have seen the obvious success of the brand concept in past years (Geoffrey R., 1997). Why the brand is significant? And what make the brands so attractive and successful? This article will explore the role of the brand and critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of branding. 2.Brands and Branding
Some analysts see brand as the promise of something. That something is intangible, but it could be a guarantee of quality, a sense of prestige, or of heritage. Everything the customer experiences in the process of evaluation, trial, purchase, and adoption is a verification of the original promise (Chuck Brymer, 2003) (see Figure 1). Over time, brands have become important as they set an expectation of quality or price.
Figure 1. The promises and verifications of a brand
Source: Chuck Brymer (2003) Brands and Branding-What makes brands great. P.69 Today brands represent more than a product, service or brand identity. As Melissa Davis pointed out that a brand is synonymous with the business and the style behind the product or service; it involves the people working for the company and a philosophy and spirit that sustains. Bands offer sets of values, a vision and even an attitude. The interaction between the brand and consumer is at the heart of managing the brand perception. This is where branding happens: it is the communication that aids create and sustain a relationship between the organisation and its customer (Melissa Davis, 2005). Thus good branding should engage. Branding is very important because its relationship and impact on the world we live in. To each company, it is particularly important in helping position the product in the minds of the product’s target market. The combined value of the world’s biggest brands is fundamental to the global economy that brands are now one of the most powerful tools in the world and account for one-third of the world’s wealth. The statistics has shown that the annual income of the five largest business corporations are more than double the combined Gross National Product of the 500 poorest countries (Rita, C. and John, 2003). It is hence that brands have the influence and power to change society, as the role of branding has increased in scope and significance. The most well-known company to brand components is Intel (Ranked No.7 in Table 1) with its famous "Intel Inside" slogan. Intel’s success has led many other business-to-business companies and even non-profits to incorporate branding within their overall marketing strategy. In terms of marketing value of a brand, known as brand equity, is constituted of five main factors: brand awareness, perceived quality, strong brand associations, high brand loyalty and other assets such as legal protection and a good distribution network (Aaker, 1991). The following Section will describe how branding strengthen brand equity for enormous benefits. RankBrandCountryIndustryBrand Value in Millions
United StatesBusiness Services$64,727
United StatesComputer Software$60,895
United StatesInternet Services$43,557
United StatesElectronics$32 ,015
Table 1. Best global brands 20100
Source: Interbrand 2010 Website
3.Advantages of Branding
Branding can carry different benefits for all parties involved in the exchange process and in theory branding makes it easier to buy and to sell a product (Brassington & Pettit, 2003). It is therefore important to look at the benefits of branding to consumers, organizations (manufacturers and retailers) and society respectively. In today's competitive and crowded marketplace, branding...